High Times has signed a deal with dispensary licensees in Los Angeles and Las Vegas with plans to open two flagship retail locations, according to an IPO-Edge report. The cannabis media firm anticipates the shops will provide a cross-marketing opportunity for High Times and its Cannabis Cup brand and intends to sell local strains that have won Cannabis Cup awards.
Stormy Simon, who took over as CEO of High Times earlier this month, told IPO-Edge that the Cannabis Cup winners are “heroes” and the company’s dispensaries would “allow them to be recognized.” After taking over as CEO, Simon suggested that distribution was “the next iteration” of the company; she told IPO-Edge that the company is seeking dispensary licenses in other states.
“Even medicinal states can make sense for us. High Times was publishing medicinal articles back in the 70s and 80s so the brand is well known in that community.” – Simon, to IPO-Edge
Adam Levin, High Times executive chairman, said the stores would likely be acquired through cash-and-share deals. According to IPO-Edge, the company has sold roughly 27,000 shares in an offering of up to $50 million which is open until March 31.
“Having the second mover advantage in this industry, combined with the present downturn in the cannabis capital markets, provides unique timing for High Times to help non-branded stores to differentiate themselves from the industry’s larger multi-state operators,” Levin said in the report.
The news comes a little over a month after the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission report that there was “substantial doubt” about the magazine’s ability to continue operations. In that report, High Times had a net loss of $11.9 million on revenue of $10.7 million for the six months ending on June 30, 2019; the revenue did represent a 21 percent increase over six months. The company also reported debts of $105.2 million.
High Times was sold in 2017 to Oreva Capital and since then has purchased competitors DOPE Magazine, Culture magazine, website Green Rush Daily, Spain’s Spannabis, and Buyer’s Industry Guide, owner of the BIG Show industry conference — last year, however, High Times laid off the entire DOPE Magazine editorial team based in Seattle.